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Season’s greetings and heartfelt thanks to the extended Waverley College community. Your support throughout the year has been invaluable in helping us realise goals for the campus, provide scholarships for students and enhance teaching and learning at the College.

2019 saw the establishment of the Waverley College Foundation and 2020 will be an exciting time of engagement, development and building for a successful future.

From the early 1940s, lunch and afternoon tea for players and guests at Waverley’s home ground at Queens Park was organised by Tom and Midge Hayes. Tom, a local Bondi butcher, would cook the barbeque for the 1st XI during cricket season and Midge organised the Mothers’ Committee to provide food and refreshments. Additionally, Midge would oversee special functions held by the school community. Her infamous homemade custard pies inspired the 1st XV’s victory song, which is still sung today.

At the Old Boys’ Union dinner in late 1938 it was announced that a pavilion fund would be established to build facilities at Queens Park “in order to improve and complete the fields in a manner worthy of the College” (The Waverlian, 1938). However, fundraising took longer than anticipated as efforts were instead directed towards a comfort fund to purchase provisions for Old Boy servicemen overseas, and thereafter towards commemorating the dead, culminating in the construction of the War Memorial Chapel and Hall.

Eventually, sufficient funds were secured and in 1951 the first pavilion, Green Gables, was built. Situated under the big Moreton Bay Fig (where Tom and Midge had been operating previously), it served as a function room and as a change room for cricket and rugby. Words of gratitude pour from the pages of The Waverlian publications of the 1950s for the “sumptuous hospitality” of the affectionately named  “Green Gables Girls” and Eastern Suburbs Ambulance Officers, who helped at Queens Park every Saturday.

Green Gables stood until late August 1960, when it was destroyed by vandals who burnt it down on their fourth attempt. All of the photographs and trophies therein were lost and the arsonists were never caught.

Construction of a new pavilion began immediately, designed by architect Neville Anderson and built by Geoffrey McCabe who were both Waverley Old Boys. Now situated on the southern hillside of the park, directly opposite the Fig tree, the building was completed in 1962 for a total cost of £23,000. It was officially opened by Mr Justice Hardie on 4 March and a commemorative game of cricket was held. Richie Benaud, the then Australian captain and NSW captain, brought twelve Sheffield Shield players to combine with twelve Waverley students in a celebratory match. Benaud captained one side and legendary left-arm fast bowler Alan Davidson the other.

In 1985 it was named the T&M Hayes Pavilion in honour of Tom and Midge, the ‘heart and soul’ of Waverley sport days. The couple had continued volunteering tirelessly until Tom’s death in 1985 and Midge’s relocation to Gloucester in 1988.

In 2002, Headmaster Brother Wallace commenced plans for the refurbishment of the pavilion. This included plastering the brick walls, installing new carpet, ceiling and lights and a new kitchen.

When Br. Brian Murphy began his career at the College in 1973 (Teacher, Sports Master, Queens Park Groundskeeper), the only photographs hanging in the pavilion were those of Murray Tate, Cyril Towers, John Potts, Michael Cleary and Morrie Currotta. These were scattered haphazardly on the walls in different sized frames. Murphy quickly became interested in following up other Old Boys who were of international standing, and getting these images framed and hung in a unified manner. The idea was to display old and new photographs and plaques, thereby keeping an historical record of College sporting achievements. Thus began the pavilion’s ‘Wall of Fame’.

The Wall of Fame has an impact on all new visitors to the grounds. Parents of players from visiting schools often spend a long time engaged with the photographs, sometimes finding teammates or competitors from their past. Current Waverley players are inspired – they want to see their photo up there or their name on the boards, particularly the 1st 11 Cricket Honour Board.

The Wall of Fame today represents “about 99% of all Old Boy sporting greats” (Murphy, 2018). With new photos added all the time, wall space is becoming an issue. The top row of bronze school crests, representing all competing schools, had to be taken down recently to make room for more photographs. In the past, Br. Murphy would collect and exhibit all the school neck-ties from visiting competition teams, which served to create a sense for players that they were part of something bigger. Murphy says, “I was the manager of the New South Wales Schoolboys Rugby for a long time and I used to train here and have a presentation dinner and we’d present the NSW 1sts and 2nds their ties and their playing gear. We used to ask each school to give us their school tie, so when we had the photographs surrounded by the ties it gave an idea of… there might be only 40 boys playing this year but there’s 70 or 80 schools who have represented in the past.” The ties have now also been taken down, but kept for posterity.

The playing fields too have evolved since first being levelled in 1937. Br. Murphy recalls:

“When I came the [3] fields ran in parallel, and the first Saturday I saw rugby at Waverley I was horrified because there was not that much space between the sidelines and the first day we were playing Oak Hill and I saw, between two fields, a new born baby in a pram, I saw a surfboard with the fins sticking up, and I saw a bicycle with the pedals sticking out. Any one of those three was a potential serious accident. There was hardly room for the Touch judges to do their job, so I got a tape measure and I got in the middle of this pavilion, and I measured out to see what would happen if I ran the field this way. As it turned out we’ve now got about 13 meters between that [field] and the next one. This [field] is now bigger than it used to be when it was over there, and we’ve got a bit of space. It’s been that way ever since 1973.

When I came first, those trees [to the right of the pavilion] were not there and there was a constant oozing through the bank of water, neither Council Randwick or Waverley would claim responsibility so the Centennial Part Trust planted those trees. They’re Melaleucas and they take a heck of a lot of moisture in so that flooding has never been as bad since. Recent improvements; Centennial Park have put in the stairs up there [Carrington Rd side] and the bank which had eroded away has been filled in and turfed.”

The 2017 crowd for the Rugby final Waverley vs Knox was a highlight for Murphy and Queens Park, with a record number of attendees.

Although now retired from teaching, Brother Murphy keeps strong ties with the Waverley College community, both on and off the sporting fields. Before school he can often be found greeting the students by name and with a handshake as they arrive. At the conclusion of his interview at Queens Park, Murphy, still a man of action, excused himself to dash across to the far field to assist with training.